The wait is over and after three years (not including the special episode), Sherlock is finally back! And what a comeback it has been.
“The Six Thatchers” starts where we left off at the end of season three and the special episode of 2016. Although, the official version of the night at Magnussen’s house is different now than before. The video footage was obviously manipulated and now it looks like one member of the SWAT team shot Magnussen, so Sherlock is “off the hook”, as Lady Smallwood points out. We also get to know that Moriarty recorded the video message at the end of series three before he died, or so Sherlock thinks.
After 59 missed calls from Mary, who is heavily pregnant, John and Sherlock realize that something must have happened and rush to Mary to then rush her to the hospital so they can welcome Baby Watson.
Baby Watson is baptized and all three of her godparents are there as well: Molly, Mrs. Hudson and Sherlock, though the latter is not paying much attention to the ceremony.
Parenting seems to be hard on John and Mary, who both seem extremely exhausted. John is even almost falling asleep on a bus and when he looks around again, he notices a woman who is looking at him and clearly liking what she sees.
A new case is getting Sherlock’s and John’s attention, but at the crime scene Sherlock is quickly distracted by a Margaret Thatcher bust that got stolen not long ago. The consulting detective, however, knows that something is off about the stolen bust, but he doesn’t know what. Although, he is convinced that Moriarty is behind it.
Sherlock consults a hacker and finds out that there are six Thatcher busts, a limited edition made in Georgia, but only one is still left and so Sherlock heads to the man who owns the remaining bust and eventually manages to apprehend the one who did it.
However, Moriarty isn’t behind the smashing of the busts but it is all connected to Mary and her past. When the last bust gets broken, the USB flash drive with the initials AGRA written on it is revealed.
In a flashback, we find out who AGRA really is:
Six years ago in Tbilisi, Georgia, there was a coup and AGRA tried to get the British ambassador. Though, AGRA isn’t Mary but a group of the best agents in the country. The ambassador is also confident that they will get out, after all she’s got “Ammo.” However, something went really wrong and Mary was the only one of the group who got out alive, or so she thought.
Ajay, who smashed the busts, was part of AGRA and until then he thought that Mary had betrayed the group and, thus, was looking for her to get revenge for what has happened to him and the rest of AGRA.
Mary meets Sherlock in an abandoned church and the detective confronts her about the flash drive. She tells him the truth about AGRA. She tricks him and takes the flash drive before she disappears. Though, she isn’t running away, as she explains in a letter to John, but needs to do “this” in her own way. She also explains that Sherlock won’t be able to find her as her moves are as random as the roll of a dice.
Though, her moves weren’t as random as she thought they were and Sherlock is able to find her and brings John with him.
Mary tries to explain to John what she had to do and why she had to do it – to protect him and Rosie.
They get interrupted by Ajay who was able to find Sherlock and, thus, Mary too and now tries to get his revenge. They find out that he had been captured and tortured for the past six years and that an English woman betrayed the team, who he thinks is Mary.
Unfortunately, before they can get more answers, he gets shot.
The trio returns to London and on the flight back, John remembers the woman who smiled at him in the bus earlier on in the episode. Apparently, John didn’t just get off the bus and walked away, but the woman “E” gave him her number and after some contemplating he starts to text her. They text for a while until John eventually tells her that he isn’t free and they can’t do this anymore. He gets off the bus again and as he sends the message, he sees E sitting at the stop.
We find out that “Ammo” isn’t short for ammunition, as they thought, but it is Latin and means “Love.” They believe that Lady Smallwood is the English woman who betrayed AGRA, but when Mycroft interrogates her, he finds out that it wasn’t her.
It doesn’t take Sherlock long, though, to find out who was behind the betrayal and at the London Aquarium he meets Lady Smallwood’s secretary, Vivian Norbury or “Ammo.”
After Mrs Norbury admits everything, they are joined by Mary and soon after by John, Mycroft, Lestrade and some police men.
“Ammo” eventually takes out a gun and aims it at Sherlock, who in return provokes her and she fires a shot at him. However, the bullet doesn’t hit the consulting detective but Mary who throws herself in-between Sherlock and the bullet, in order to save him. She dies on the scene, as “Ammo” is taken into custody and while John seems to be going mad.
Not much later, Mycroft calls a number and tells the person who picked up to put him through to Sherrinford.
Sherlock talks to Mrs. Hudson in 221B and while looking for a new case, he finds a CD with a video message from Mary on it. Apparently, she has one last case for him. “The toughest case” Sherlock will ever have: To save John Watson. However, he doesn’t want Sherlock’s help at all.
In the after-credit scene, though, Mary tells Sherlock to go to hell.
After a rather slow start to the new season, the episode quickly picks up some pace and similar to the last episode of season three, lots of plot twists are presented to us. However, instead of answering the questions we had before watching the new episode, we are left with even more questions.
What is John doing and why doesn’t he want the help of his best friend? Why did Mary tell Sherlock to go to hell? Is there more to the story about John and the mysterious woman? And who is Sherrinford?
Though, I’m pretty certain we will find out over the next two Sundays when Sherlock continues.
Highlights of the episode:
- Baby Watson’s baptism
- A closer look at Mary’s past
- Mary’s acting skills in the airplane
- The origin of Baby Watson’s name
- Mary’s death and her video message
- John’s reaction to his wife’s death
- Sherlock at a therapy session
- The after credit-scene
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